Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Own Private Earth Day...

blue skies over southern Maryland The other day, when the weather was cooperative (hours before drenching rain fell), I performed one of the rites of spring, cutting the first grass of the season. What makes this ritual green? Well, when you cut grass with a manual lawn mower and leave the clippings behind, you have grass cycled. Grass cycling occurs when you leave the clippings behind on the lawn; when done frequently enough, the clippings decompose into the soil, nourishing it.

Not only did this make the lawn look better, but because there's a small hill, the task also helped tone my glutes, making it unnecessary to go to the gym early in the week. (A small blessing, for it took long enough to recover from my recent gym visit, the first in years!) Knocking out two tasks at once--that's the easy earth friendly way to do things!

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Pamper yourself for Earth Day, part II

To replenish some items running perilously low, I made one of my occasional trips to Whole Foods (occasional because there's not one close to me); I was disciplined enough to buy everything on my list, but not disciplined enough to limit my purchases to things on the list! This is a perennial temptation with that store, because it has vegetarian items at the lowest prices around, sucking you into its vortex of buying more, more, more! Even worse (or better, depending on your view), there are gobs of appealing petroleum-free products (if not their packaging) that look and smell good which I feel I must purchase while there. Prime suspects include the wonderful Badger line of lip balms, particularly the lemon-ginger flavor, which keeps lips wonderfully moist, and even gives a nice hint of flavor, in contrast to the common petro-balms.

Now, I couldn't stop there with the eco-pampering; I just had to buy the Burt's Bees grapefruit and sugar beet shampoo, after swooning over the refreshing fragrance. I don't feel guilty with these "splurges," because frankly the cost of many of these products is comparable to their drugstore and grocery counterparts.

Oh, food. Bought that too, along with supplements. The store brand has the cheapest price on grapeseed extract (100 mg. veggie capsules), so I scooped that up. Also had good prices on organic citrus, bags of lemon and lime in particular, so into the cart they went.

sign for organic lemons at Whole FoodsWhen you can find organic citrus at a good price ($3.99 for a bag of lemons), go for it, because most pesticide ends up on fruit skin. The skin of fruit like lemons (aka zest) is used extensively to add flavor, so the organic version is a good thing. (This is for pampering of the taste buds.)

Another enjoyable eco-splurge (well, not so much of a splurge, because it's only $8.95), is the solid perfume from Pacifica--yes, the candle people. The gardenia scent smells just like the candle, so you can imagine how good it smells! Best of all, it comes in a small, portable container and lasts a long time, months in fact, even when used every day. Bought it from an unusual source, though, Borders Books. (Then again, I've also bought many Pacifica candles there--wonder how long the store will keep that up. Particularly because the same store seems to have a problem with having bookstands in stock, as using bookstands is a good way to pamper your neck and shoulders while reading!)

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The rest of my purse got a break in Whole Foods bulk foods section. Of course, you can save loads of money, as this is the DIY part of the store, where you bag as much as you want of what's in bulk. This type of bulk buying can benefit anyone, from singles to couples to families, because you only buy as much as you want. This time, I went for nutritional yeast, baby lima beans, French lentils, regular oatmeal, and blueberry granola. The last one is one of my favorite cereals, and I prefer to get it at Whole Foods, not only because it's tasty, but because the cost of boxed cereal is beyond ridiculous.

Enough about Earth Day from these parts; I plan to simply enjoy the rest of the day!

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